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Things I learned this week: Cows don't have wheels.

This insight comes to us from Ohio, and Justice William Bedsworth, an appellate court judge in California, is upset:

I set my sights on the perfect paragraph. That seemed high enough to keep people from tripping over and low enough to be doable. I figured I had twelve years before the electorate got wise to me and threw me out at the end of my term, and in that time I should be able to write one perfect paragraph.

I may have been right. Iím halfway through my term now and havenít done it yet, but Iíve written a few I liked that survived the Supreme Courtís scythe. It may be that another six years of honing my skills might have resulted in one perfect paragraph. But Iím afraid my heartís not in it anymore.

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Appellate District in Portage County, Ohio, did it a few months ago. And now anything I wrote would be a pale imitation of their Gatsby paragraph.

Say what you will about me, I know when Iím beat. Here is the first paragraph of Mayor v. Wedding, 2003 WL 22931354 (Ohio App. 11 Dist.) : ďIn this case we are called on to determine whether a cow is an uninsured motor vehicle under appellantsí insurance policy. We hold that it is not.Ē

Which is lucky, because if a cow were a motor vehicle, there's no telling what a chicken would be. (Link via Howard Bashman.)

But note this: the insurance company "won" the suit, but only after a lawsuit was filed, motions were made and briefs written in support, a judge issued his decision, an appeal was filed, more briefs were written, and then the appellate court issued its short but humorous decision [Word file], finding that since cows don't have wheels, they can't be motor vehicles. Here's a serious question: how much do you think this cost? How many hours, how many tens of thousands of dollars? (That doesn't even count the time of four judges.)

The insurance company may have "won" the case, but there were no winners there. Except, of course, the attorneys. Tort reform, anyone?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 4, 2004 11:21 PM.

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